This chapter surveys the roles that PMSCs have taken on and the more ambitious possibilities that have been proposed in the area of peacekeeping. There is, at present, little guidance on what functions can be outsourced in the implementation of a UN Security Council mandate. In fact, PMSCs have been engaged in a broad spectrum of activities, including some of the more ancillary aspects constituting peace consolidating measures or post-conflict measures, such as the recruitment and training of troops and the clearing of mines. At the same time, the status of PMSCs under international humanitarian law is murky at best. The situation is compounded by the questions of who ultimately bears responsibility for the company misconduct. Despite these concerns, suggestions have been made for expanded use of PMSCs, such as employing them as UN blue helmets or even as UN-mandated or UN-led troops carrying out military operations.
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